Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. – Matthew 23:28
Jesus addressed a gathering of the “religious” leaders of the day, who were more concerned over form and function rather than the condition of the heart. He told them that there was a day of sorrow coming to them because they were like white-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones. On the outside they appeared to have it all together spiritually but were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
How many people come to church on Sunday, Wednesday, or at some other gathering and put on the plastic face to avoid sharing their hearts with others? They do so to hide the sin in their lives. They don’t want others in the family of God to know that everything is not all right, but instead there is need of forgiveness, repentance, and possibly even salvation. Many plastic “christians” sit among us in the pews weekly. Some are false prophets/teachers infiltrating the church seeking whom they may help the enemy devour. Others are just pure unadulterated hypocrites, or as this generation calls them – posers/perps/frauds!
I can remember the days when I was a card-carrying member of the Pharisaic country club of religion. I would bash others and walk the road of spiritual superiority while my heart was as hard as stone and full of wrong. Then one day God entreated me to a heavy dose of spiritual medication, which chastised me for trying to constantly remove the sawdust from others’ eyes whilst strutting around with a log protruding from mine. How embarrassing to say the least! Because of God’s love for me, he made me to see and understand how I was living no differently from the hypocrites of his day, along with the fate that awaited me if I didn’t turn from such a lifestyle.
We, all, need to check ourselves from time to time and ensure that we are not living a duplicitous lifestyle. Why? Because there are eyes watching us all the time, whether God’s eyes or those of people around us. People do observe your life and make note of your witness as a Christian. They determine based on our behaviors whether we truly are Christ-like or not.
Father, how many times have I been caught up in the stench of hypocrisy over time? I know that is a rhetorical question because you’ve forgiven me of my past sins, but it still brings to mind my behavior in front of others. I pray that you help me to always walk the path of righteousness and never let me become one of the those, who appear to be spiritual and right on the outside but are inwardly full of evil and sin. I endeavor to be more like you daily, and I know that means crucifying earthly desires for things that are sensual and contrary to your ways. My worst nightmare is that others would see me and think, “Wow, what a Christian?!? How can he behave like that and expect me to want to be a “Christian” too?” Instead, I pray that others see me and actually sense and feel and see you in me. That is the testimony and witness I want where people say, “What is it that is different about you? How can I be like that person?” Help me, Dad. I need your encouragement and empowerment, for I cannot do this in my own strength. In Jesus’ name, Amen.